Water Skiing Basics

Getting Started

Brad Dwyer
An article by Brad Dwyer
Published: May 16, 2007
 

Welcome to water-skiing.org, the one-stop-shop for water skiing tips and product reviews. It is our mission to help you improve your skiing. Whether you're a new boater looking for information on how to start your water skiing career or an experienced veteran aiming to shorten that rope by one more section, we hope you'll be able to find something here that will be of use to you.

For the newbies, we have beginning water skiing articles that can take you all the way from getting up on two skis through mastering skiing on two and then progressing on to getting up on a slalom ski.

And for those who aren't just new skiiers, but new boaters too, our sister site wake-boarding.org has information for new boaters including articles about boating safety, being a courteous boater, and managing your ski ropes.

It is would be a good idea to go learn how to ski with some borrowed equipment before you go out and purchase expensive skis, ropes and boats.

If you know an experienced skier who is willing to take you out, that will be the quickest way to progress. Experienced skiers will be able to spot trouble spots and give you personalized tips on your skiing better than any online article can.

And the boating community is one of the tightest-knit and kindest around. I have yet to meet someone who isn't willing to help a new skiier get on his or her way to greatness. If you don't know anyone just yet, don't worry, there are many ways that you can get hooked up with a crew (including our water sports forums).

Once you get up and going, there is much to learn in the great sport of water skiing. Many new skiers don't know that water skiing can actually be a competitive sport. They think of it as recreation and no more, but this couldn't be farther from the truth.

There is actually a very developed competitive water skiing community. Competitive water skiing is centered around "the course." The slalom course is a way of comparing your skills against others and a great way to track your improvement.

A slalom course consists of a system of buoys that is set up in a body of water. The ski boat will drive through the middle in between a succession of "boat gates" that form a straight pathway for the boat to go through. The skier cuts back and forth around a series of four or six buoys (or "balls").

As a skier improves, the boat will increase in speed. And as they improve further still, the rope is shortened, making the skier cut out harder and stretch further to get their ski around the buoys.

Slalom ski competitions are held for skiers of all levels throughout the world and they are great fun.

Once you have gotten out and tried the sport, I have no doubt that you will catch the bug. So here's to a great future of water skiing!

Navigate through our instructional water skiing articles by using the menu on the left.

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